2015 has been the year of police violence. Whether there were more violent incidents than normal, or the increased scrutiny brought on by a handful of high-profile incidents led to more noticed cases of violence is up for debate. What is not is the fact that this year public attitude towards law enforcement has shifted dramatically.
Adding to and driving that shift even further has been the mass shootings that have occurred this year. The increased emphasis on both gun control and police accountability have led some to question whether the police need to be videos or have their powers limited in some other type of scalable way.
Working along these lines, many Americans have become very concerned with the growing interest of police forces in drone technology. Drones are unmanned airborne vehicles that are operated remotely and have already drawn incredible controversy for their weaponized use in warfare.
Offices that advocate for drone use do so stating that they would only be used for surveillance and would function in similar capacities to police helicopters. There has so far been no attempt to cross the line from defense to offense when it comes to police drone technology.
That is, until now.
Niche website, Copblock.com, has reported that “North Dakota has become the first state in the nation to legalize the use of armed police drones equipped with ‘less than lethal’ weapons like Tasers, tear gas, sound cannons, and rubber bullets.”
This was thought to be impossible for many anti-drone advocates who believed that House Bill 1328, which deals with police use of drones, would ban any sort of weaponizing when it comes to unmanned law enforcement vehicles.
However, The Daily Beast discovered that a pro-gun lobbyist requested that the bill be amended at the last minute.
Somehow this has gone largely unreported and no matter which side of the drone debate you are on that should worry you. If police officers can attach weapons to unmanned vehicles than the public may be susceptible at home to the same type of trigger-happy atrocities that this tech has enabled abroad.
Share this article if you can and make sure people around you are at least informed about this significant change to the law enforcement repertoire in America.
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